News on Wellness

Colgate Toothpaste Contains Cancer Causing Chemical?

colgateThe chemical triclosan has conclusively been linked to the growth of cancer cells and disrupting fetal development in animals, and millions of people are using this chemical every day without even knowing it. One of the top selling toothpastes uses this chemical, which also acts as an antibacterial, with Colgate.

Regulators are currently reviewing whether the chemical is safe enough to use in things like soap, toys, and cutting boards. In May, the state of Minnesota voted to ban the use of triclosan in a lot of products. Slowly companies are phasing out their use of this chemical, given the latest research on it.

Colgate says that their Total toothpaste is safe. The company cited the rigorous process the product underwent by the Food and Drug Administration to get the toothpaste approved in 1997 for over the counter use. However, is one looks closely at the actual application process some of the scientific findings from Colgate weren’t exactly black and white on the safety of triclosan, and they weren’t even available for public review until this year.

The application for Colgate Total including 35 pages of toxicology studies concerning triclosan, which were withheld from public view by the FDA. The pages were just recently released in response to a lawsuit over a Freedom of Information Act request. After inquiries were made by Bloomberg News, the FDA made the pages available on its website.

The pages reveal that even in the most stringent processes, the FDA is relying on company-backed research to prove that its products are safe. When put next to the new information on triclosan, it raises eyebrows over whether the FDA did its due diligence when approving this product.

Some of the pages show results of studies showing fetal bone malformations in rats and mice, Colgate states these findings weren’t relevant. But, viewed in light on newer research, it appears very relevant according to three scientists looking at the FDA approval of Colgate Total.

Some of the questions concerning triclosan’s safety are not answerable. Humans get exposed to dozens of chemicals that have the potential to interact in the body, so it is impossible to link one particular chemical to a single disease. This from Thomas Zoeller, a biology professor with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Zoeller specializes in the effect of chemicals on the endocrine system.

Zoeller said, “We have created a system where we are testing these chemicals out on the human population. I love the idea they are all safe. But when we have studies on animals that suggest otherwise, I think we’re taking a huge risk.”

It is important to note that Colgate is not being accused of any wrongdoing, and the pages withheld by the FDA do not prove that triclosan is harmful. The FDA states that they were following standard procedure by redacting the information that had come from a third party during the approval process.

Colgate maintains that Total is safe and effective and this has been proven in over 80 clinical studies of more than 19,000 people.

Colgate spokesman, Thomas DiPiazza said, “In the nearly 18 years the Colgate Total has been on the market in the U.S., there has been no signal of a safety issue from adverse-event reports.”

He also stated that the company submits annual reports to the FDA reviewing all new safety findings and studies.

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